Interested in joining our staff or submitting to the Free Press? Read our guide below to find out more or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We meet weekly on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. in Hill Hall 111. Our Editor-in-Chief is also available during office hours on Thursdays from 3 – 5 p.m. If you are unable to stop by any of these times, please reach out to us by email.
How To Submit
- Pick a story
- Talk to a member of the editorial staff
- Get approval from the editor
- Write your story
- Submit your story to email@example.com with an original photo
- Get feedback and edits
1. Pick a Story
You can write about whatever you’d like, provided that no one else has already written about it or claimed the idea. If you need inspiration, we invite you to attend one of our meetings (Tuesdays at 6 p.m. in Hill 111) to talk with our editorial staff and review our list of stories we’d like to be written. You can also stop by during open office hours to speak directly with the Editor-in-Chief.
2. Talk to an Editor
Every story fits within one of our five sections. If you’re not sure which one, see the below descriptions. Talking with an editor and/or attending a meeting can always help you sort out ideas. If you’re not a student member of the McDaniel community, it’s likely that you’ll want to submit a Letter to the Editor. Articles in most sections range from 400-800 words, though editors may alter this.
News, Features, Sports, and Arts & Culture
All articles within these sections are free from bias and the author’s opinion. They are fact-based and convey information to the reader without the intent of swaying their opinion or behavior. News articles are just that. Features include human interest pieces like profiles of people and organizations. All articles related to sports go in Sports, even if they might feel like News or Features. Arts & Culture articles are those about visual and performance arts, exhibits, and other cultural events on and off campus.
Commentary articles are those expressing your opinion in an articulate and fact-based argument. They differ from News and Features in that while they may still report facts, they do so alongside your opinion.
Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor are typically from non-McDaniel students or are responses to published articles. They should center around issues and topics relevant to the McDaniel community.
There are some exceptions to the above ground rules. For example, reviews within the Arts & Culture section may have the author’s opinion–like a Commentary article–but they would still be published under Arts & Culture because of their core content. Similarly, a profile of a student-athlete would publish in the Sports section even though profiles are typically published in the Features section. When in doubt, come to a meeting (Tuesdays at 6 p.m. in Hill 111) and ask!
3. Get Approval
While we accept submissions without prior contact, we prefer that writers get approval for their stories from a member of our editorial staff. Doing so gives the editor a chance to plan for publication and he or she can also give you some tips and sources, depending on the story.
4. Write Your Story
The Free Press has specific guidelines that all writers must follow. All submissions must meet the following criteria. If any of these are daunting or confusing, don’t worry: we have a trained editorial staff ready to work with you on your article.
- Written in AP Style (with respect to our own Style Guide)
- Between 400 and 800 words (with exceptions)
- Written in the style of its section
- Approved by an editor
- Time sensitive and relevant
- Grounded in fact-based reporting
5. Submit Your Story with a Photo
Articles should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to include an original photo! We recommend using Pixabay, a free stock photo website, if you are unable to take a photo yourself. If you use Pixabay, please send us the link the page is hosted on. Do make sure to follow our Copyright Policy when submitting a photo.
6. Get Feedback and Edits
Depending on the level of editing, editors may send feedback and edits for you to work on. The faster you respond to these, the faster we can get your story published. If edits are minor enough, your story will get published without needing you to respond to them. If edits are more serious, our team will work with you to complete the story. If you’re writing for a class, make sure that you send the final published story to the professor. Many students also copy their professor on the email when they submit their story to us.